Listen: Detective Nick Gaines with the Roseville Police Department
Our Shop with a Cop Program began as a juvenile gang diversion program back in 2010 as a way to divert youth connected or associated with gangs in the Roseville community away from that lifestyle. It began with officers taking a few kids shopping to our local Target for school clothes and basic need items. Over the past 9 years it has grown to encompass 10 law enforcement agencies representing all departments within Placer County (Roseville PD, Rocklin PD, Lincoln PD, Auburn PD, Placer County Sheriff, Placer County Probation and District Attorney’s Office) as well as several State Agencies such as the California Highway Patrol, California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), and California State Parks. As such the number of children benefiting from our program during our Christmas event has grown from a 3-4 to well over 100 children and over 100 officers and law enforcement agency professional staff shopping with our kids.
Each child is selected based on three criteria:
1)There must be a financial need
2)There must be some obstacle present within the child’s life (i.e. single parent homes, drugs, grades, truancy, medical/health related etc.)
3)There must be something showing the child is striving to persevere and overcome the obstacle (i.e. grade improvement, taking on leadership roles, making better life choices, helping out at home more often etc.)
Only when these three criteria are met are the children selected. Each child that is selected have their award delivered to their home. They will get paired with an officer on the morning of the event and get to ride in the front seat of their police car (lights and sirens are fair game to play with) as they participate in a motorcade of police cars (including Santa’s vehicle) of over 100 police cars with approximately 105 children going shopping. They travel to Target in Roseville where each child will be able to spend $250 to shop for essential clothing, basic needs and also purchase toys and fun items for themselves or Christmas gifts for their family. Lunch will be catered at Center Point Community Church in Roseville where each child’s family is invited to attend. Target gift wraps any presents purchased by the children, Toys for Tots donates toys for the siblings and blankets are made available. We also have a photo booth for the children to take photos with their officers and volunteer shoppers. Our K-9 unit does a demonstration for the children and Shop with a Cop Sweatshirts are made for each child. In addition each child (within Roseville) will have a one year membership to the Roseville Police Activities League included with their acceptance into the Shop with a Cop program.